Our correspondents are urged to limit their letters to 300 words; otherwise they are liable to be shortened or omitted altogether. Letters most bear a name and address (not necessarily for publication) or they will be ignored.-Editor.
MR. LANSBURY'S APPEAL
SIR,-Many thanks for sending Inc a copy of the Catholic Herald. It is good to read your understanding article. I hope and pray that steps will be taken, by those in authority in the churches, to call an immediate halt in the mad race towards war. Anyhow I am grateful to you for trying to understand both what I said and my motives.
39, Bow Road, E.3.
SI11,-1t is a matter for regret that one should find support in the Catholic Herald of Mr. Lansbury's suggestion that the Pope should intervene in the ItaloAbyssinian dispute. An optimistic writer Slates that " Very many (of the common people of England) would endeavour, at almost any sacrifice, to follow a papal lead". Is he confident that if the Pope decides that Italy should possess Abyssinia, the people of England would cheer? Your writer is, doubtlessly, aware that an attempt to "re-establish the peace of the world .' would include on examination of
existing colonial empires. In the event of a papal decision that India should be independent and Gibroltar handed to Spain, does he think that the " common people of England " would again applaud? Is it not the truth that (dreamers and altruists apes the people who appeal to the Pope in this dispute hope to use him simply as a stick with which to beat Mussolini?
The unravelling of moral issues involved in any war is a matter of infinite complexity except to those discerning spirits who sec clearly that Kruger caused the Boer War and the Kaiser the Great War; and ill-advised papal attempts at delimiting colonial territories in former days have been distressingly fallible.
Your leader-writer's statement that Italy's " real motives are ones of material advantage " is not news. Self interest has been the cause of nearly every war in history and there is no reason to suppose that the experience of future ages, in this respect, will prove different from that of the past. It is to be feared that those, now rudely awakened, who adopted a static conception of history with the advent of the League of Nations, underrated the power of the Prince of Darkness.
13a, Lower Grosvenor Place, SW.'. August 26.
SIR,-Your apt comments on Mr. Lansbury's appeal to the Pope serve as a reminder, first, that the Holy Father has already called upon all professing Christianity (see Caritate Christi Compulsi), and, second, that few if any outside of the Catholic Church gave heed to his appeal, or, indeed, were at the time inclined even to notice it. In October, 1933, 1 sent a letter to the editor of The Times calling attention to the need of papal leadership. Ile was, regretfully, unable to find room for it.
ALFRI.1) GROS(11 26. Hawthorn Gardens,
[Now that "The Times" has given prominence to an authoritative statement by the Archbishop of Westminster our correspondent will no doubt be more reconciled to having been himself ignored by our august contemporary-ErmiOR.]
SIR,My own reactions to Mr. Lansbury's suggestion are quite different from those of the Catholic Herald and I cannot see any point in the suggestion that Mr. Lansbury be granted a Papal audielec.
It seems to me that Mr. Lanshury is simply trying to get someone else to " hold the baby." Ile admits that politicians have failed, but this does not absolve them from blame nor justify them in continued inaction. When Mr. Lansbury learned of the recent Belfast disturbances all the suggested was that the religious leaders should get together-which seems to me very much like another red herring. His job as a politician v. as surely to press for a fair judicial enquiry into the situation?
I look upon appeals to the Papacy to clear up-in some way unexplained-the mess created by politicians as calculateddeliberately or otherwise-to embarrass and discredit. What sense, after all, would there be in asking the Pope to proclaim a truce of God to the Belfast rioters? The dragging in of his name at this juncture can only make people think that he is in some way respcnsible.
My suspicions of Mr. Lansbury will only be dissipated, in short, when he concentrates on doing what he has the power to do and ceases to invoke those who have long since been shorn of executive authority.
A. P. GIANELLI 20. Lisson Grove,
Sire -After last Sunday's evening service at the City Temple Mr. George Lensbury spoke on behalf of neace. rencat
his contact with the crowd enabled him to realise the truth of that passage in last week's paper: If he could appeal to the people of England on the single issue he has just raised, the response both political and moral would almost certainly take the whole world by surprise. The common people of England are no longer indis posed to appeal to the Holy See . . "
Among those hundreds were the Eastenders for whom Mr. Lansbury has fought and the West-enders against whom he has fought. The crowd was catholic, drawn from all sections of Englishmen and all united in a desire for peace. But more than that, they were united in the common hope that the Pope would act to prevent an invasion of Abyssinia. They had no doubt that the Pope could prevent war-that if he appealed to the people of the world to act to safeguard peace they would follow him, Catholic or not.
It was not just Abyssinia for which they worried. If Italy and Abyssinia clashed who might not be drawn into the struggle? The ordinary man, represented by the crowds at the City Temple, hates war and has trusted the League in spite of all its obvious shortcomings. But now there is a crisis and the fear is that the League will not be sufficiently strong to deal with it. If it should fail then there is only religion and that means the Pope.
It is sad no doubt that men's thoughts should only turn to God and the Pope as a last hope when they arc in a temporal mess of their own making. But most of us are like the Good Thief, and if we find peace at all in the end it will be his way. R. P. Waeso 132, Prince of Wales Road, N.W.5.
BOOKS FOR PATIENTS
SIR,-In your issue of August 24, a letter appears from Rev. W. J. Piggott, Free Church chaplain at Claybury mental hospital, appealing for Catholic books and newspapers and also for devotional objects to be distributed by him to Catholic patients. Without consulting me, he uses my name, implying that I approve of this appeal.,
This Use of my name is entirely unauthorised. Had he asked for my approval of his appeal before publication I should have emphatically refused it for reasons which will readily occur to every Catholic. Catholics do not look to a Free Church minister for rosaries, even apart from the question of the blessing which gives them their essential value.
As long as Mr. Piggott in his capacity of librarian confined his interest in Catholic patients to distributing Catholic literature no objection was raised: on the contrary I expressed my approval and thanks. This further excursion beyond his province raises an issue of a different kind on which I shall not dwell here beyond expressing my strong disapproval.
Ample provision is made by the committee for the spiritual welfare of Catholics in this hospital. As visiting priest there for many years I have always had the fullest facilities for ministering to them. I do not need the help of this self-appointed assistant and resent his interference.
I may add that I am not in want of devotional articles such as rosaries, prayerbooks and medals; there is always an adequate supply for the use of all patients who, in my judgment, are capable of profiting by them.
It would, I think, be more satisfactory if your charitable readers would send anything intended for Catholic patients at Claybury to the Catholic priest officially entrusted with their care-the undersigned. FR. ANSELM, O.F.M. Franciscan Friary,
Woodford Green, Essex.
P.5.-Fr. Rhead, whose name was coupled with mine as a reference, is absent on holiday.
VANDALISM IN CEMETERY
SIR,-When we bury our beloved dead we expect that the monuments erected to their memory shall be left undisturbed to mark their last resting-place. To overthrow such monuments and obliterate all visible traces of graves is an act of desecration worthy of vandals of the worst type but yet this happens in St. Mary's cemetery, Kensal Green, W. I have seen (and anyone who visits the cemetery may also see) tombstones in a good state of preservation ruthlessly cast down and removed, earth piled on top of graves to a height of four or five feet, and other interments taking place on the same site.
This is repulsive to me and in direct conflict with my conception of consecration. When I visit the cemetery (which I have done regularly for a number of year) I seem to hear the very stones crying out in protest at this violation of the sanctity of consecrated ground.
Friends ask me "How and why is this permitted?" I am too ashamed to answer.
No doubt many of your readers have had the same experience. Can anything be done?
August 26. A UNITED IRELAND Sin,--The Bishop of Down and Connors letter to the British Prime Minister, published in the Catholic Herald of August 24, describes a state of things in the Six Counties which should arouse the men and women of all parties in the Irish Free State to a determination to work unceasingly for the ending of it as soon as possible. The best remedy for it is a united Ireland. This ideal which, strange to say, is only entertained as a dream or a pious aspiration by many in the Irish Free State, could be brought about by a few years of vigorous action by those, in both North and South, who wish to see it realised.
All that is necessary to set it going is agreement on one matter of policy by the serious parties in the Free State. Some sacrifice of smaller aims may have to be made by each of them, but what aims can compare in importance with the ending of the oppression and maltreatment of the unfortunate minority in the Six Counties?
The policy alluded to is to place in the forefront of their programme a united Ireland within the British Commonwealth of Nations, with a single parliament sitting alternately in Belfast and Dublin. Would a position of equality with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain itself, within the Commonwealth, not be preferable to even a republic outside it? It is the only policy which, within calculable time, can secure justice for the persecuted and downtrodden Catholic minority of the North.
It is a policy which the whole world could understand and sympathise with, and not least the other members of the Cornmein weal th It would also receive the support of many fair-minded Northern Protestants, and practically all Protestants in the South, who know how fairly they are treated under the Free State government. To these may with confidence be added the majority of people in Great Britain, where the policy would be generally regarded as calculated to produce a more satisfactory settlement than did the treaty of 1921.
But the "Treaty"? Well, treaties have been revised before now, and will doubtless be revised again, especially treaties which, like that of 1921, have been accepted under moral compulsion. A marriage under similar conditions would almost certainly be declared null and void in an English court of. law.
The British government's pledge to the Northern government never to force them into a united Ireland against the will of the people is only a small obstacle. The Northern government have taken advantage of that pledge to commit or permit endless acts of injustice and atrocity against the Catholic minority, just because it is Catholic and a minority; but the British government will be absolved from its pledge on the day when a certain proportion of the people demand union with the rest of Ireland-not necessarily a majority, for the question of union is one which affects not the Six Counties alone but the whole of Ireland.
A generation is growing up in the North who, despite the propagation of hostility towards Catholics, will not consent permanently to support a policy of selfishness, oppression and hatred towards their Catholic fellow-countrymen, and their numbers can be rapidly increased by means of an enthusiastic and wisely directed campaign in promotion of the policy of a united Ireland.
H. J. M. August 27.
NEW ECONOMIC SYSTEM
SIR,-1 think that the point at issue in C's reply to my earlier letter is to be found in the sentence: "Therefore, he argues, to say that the probably economic soundness of any new system . . . must be judged on economic grounds is 'charged with the most unpleasant implications.' "
C has entirely misconstrued my words. My meaning was that it is wrong to judge the soundness of any new economic sys(em on purely economic lines. (Not the " economic soundness of any new system" -and therein lies a vast difference.) Surely even C will admit that when he says " economic and financial proposals must be judged on economic and financial grounds " it does look as if he meant that economic proposals should be judged only on economic grounds; that is, that the soundness of any new system should be judged on purely economic lines. Hence my wrath. Now that C has stated his point more clearly I also find myself agreeing with him.
For C's peace of mind I assure him that he has A. E. V.'s full permission to do quite what he likes in the Exchange. What A. E. V. does deplore is that so very many people these days seem to consider that the primary object of existence is to try to find profitable investments in the sacred city.
A. E. V. The Summit, Castle Hill, Maidenhead, August 27.
SIR,In view of your remarks on Kalender reform, it may be useful to note that the sequence of Sundays could be kept intact by ending the Kalendar year on the Saturday nearegt Oars ,-,c
A CATHOLIC SOCIETY?
SIR,-There are several ways of answering an opponent. One is to make a mosaic of carefully selected phrases and pretend that it gives a true picture of his case. If to this you can add that he is a calumniator and a person of low taste, so much the better; you can loose the floods of your indignation and give him a good drubbing. Another is to answer the case he presented and ascribe to him no dishonourable motives. A natural perversity makes me prefer this second method.
A re-reading of the third paragraph of my first letter should convince Fr. Martindale that I did not say what he thinks I said; and the fact that he thinks I said what I did not say convinces me of its pertinence.
There is all the difference in the world between clean and unclean poverty. The first is chosen voluntarily by those rare souls who are striving after spiritual perfection; the second is endured by the big majority of people and found by them to be a positive bar to spiritual perfection. I believe the first type to be good. I know the second to be evil.
Like Fr. Martindale, I desire a Catholic society and, like him, realise that no material enterprise is a panacea for all our ills; but Catholicism is, among other things, a philosophy of life, and material things have their place in it. I remain unimpressed by what wealthy Catholics in England have done towards bringing nearer that Catholic society to which we aspire.
Their economic assumptions are those of the world around them and their practice is certainly not of a higher standard than that of their neighbours. I do not know whether there is a Quaker social philosophy, but there is certainly a Quaker type of industrialism. There is a Catholic social philosophy, but is there a Catholic industrialism?
Clinics and settlements are not distinctively Catholic contributions to social work. We have copied them from the humanitarians. The best that can be said for them is that they are very inadequate palliatives. To dress the sores of those stricken by the materialist scourge is not enough. We should attempt a cure.
And Fr. Martindale expected to be rebuked for his "extremism"! Well, well ...
Eowaen CAUL' IFI
53, Old Lane, Fecleston, near Prescot, Lanes. August 26.
UNWANTED AND WANTED PAMPHLETS Ste,-A propos of the note on C.T.S. pamphlets in the August 9 issue of the Universe, have you space for an appeal on behalf of our poorer brethren? "The poor shall have the gospel preached unto them."
In some parishes, e.g., Clapham, Common, and the Dominicans, Hampstead, there are boxes conspicuously placed near the C.T.S. cases, with a notice-"Take and Replace," or "Leaflets Exchanged." Many would gladly return a read leaflet if there was a receptacle for them.
Would it be possible to appeal to parish priests to place such a box (duty placarded) near the C.T.S. cases of their churches? It is the poor who are the devout clients of the twopenny leaflet; but how often is it not a case of "Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink." Not only would the sales increase and bring a blessing on the parish, but would enable the few to enjoy the blessing of giving.
Moist FATHER DRINKWATERS BOOK
SIR,-In the review of Fr. Drinkwater's book this week the following passage was quoted ; " At present the ordinary Englishman finds us too argumentative, too proud of our own logic, too scornful of his own illogical loyalties, too fond of technical language and a priori arguments, too cocksure in drawing conclusions from the teaching of the Church. He can see and feel a divine glow at the heart of Catholicism, but his heart fails him at the thickets of barbed wire we set up all around it."
1 think that this should be read in conjunction with the following from Mrs Chesterton's " Orthodoxy ":
" The creeds and the crusades, the hierarchies and the horrible persecutions were not organised, as is ignorantly said, for the suppression of reason. They were organised for the difficult defence of reason. Man, by a blind instinct, knew that if once things were wildly questioned reason could be questioned first. The authority of priests to absolve, the authority of popes to define, the authority even of inquisitors to terrify; these were only dark defences erected round one central authority, more undemonstrable . . . than all-the authority of a man to think. We can now hear scepticism crashing through the old ring of authorities, and at the same moment we can see reason swaying on her throne. In so far as religion is gone, reason is going. . . . And in the act of destroying the idea of divine authority we have largely destroyed the idea of that human authority by which we do a longdivision sum."
Mr. Chesterton, as you will know, was not a Catholic at the time this was written.
Casatxis. August 27.
THE MEANS-TEST Sie,-Looking fairly at the means-test we may put it this way: that it is, on the part of the State, an attempt to put on those least able to bear it the burden of supporting those who, through no fault of their own, are unemployed. Because it is a fact that, with wages at their present inadequate level, children are rarely able to support themselves in comfort, let alone their parents. This is indisputable. Therefore to urge, as does Mr. Grosch, that the children are selfish, is ridiculous. The children, he admits, are not unwilling to help; I contend they are unable.
Furthermore it should be remembered that the worker insures himself against unemployment by contributions out a his weekly wage. Therefore the State does not, as Mr. Cirosch suggests, support the worker without question. From Mr. Grosch's letter I am led to think he can never have seen a means-test form, or know the questions asked thereon, otherwise I can hardly believe he would attempt to justify the means-test.
R. C. Aukvis 13, Hoyland Road, S.E.15.
THE LATE CANON CHARD
SIR,-In a recent issue of the Catholic Herald there is an obituary notice of Canon J. B. Chard which states that he was educated at Clifton grammar school. Actually no such school exists. There is the Bristol grammar school and Clifton college, but these are both Protestant schools (though the former was founded by a Catholic in 1532). It would be interesting to know at what school Canon Chard was educated.
R. C. HAY NES 29, Royal York Crescent,
Clifton, Bristol, 8.